The Italian honorary consulate in Diego is part of the Italian consular network and operates under the direction and guidance of the consulate general of Italy in Los Angeles. Other honorary consulates within the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles consulate general include offices in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Honorary consuls maintain their positions on a volunteer basis; consequently, the services provided locally remain limited, with the primary resource being the consulate general of Italy in Los Angeles.

About the Honorary Consul of San Diego

Tom Cesarini holds a PhD in leadership studies and an MA in nonprofit leadership and management from the University of San Diego (USD). Tom has extensive experience in the social sector as an executive director and consultant with a focus on narrative building, writing and editing, group relations, nonprofit-organization infrastructure, resource development, program design, and capacity building. He is the founder and chief leadership officer of Convivio, a nonprofit organization that promotes Italian cultural identity, and he is the founder and lead consultant of Chiaroscuro Consulting, providing a host of services to social-sector organizations.

Tom’s academic interests include leadership theory and practice; group relations; adult development; organizational culture; communications studies; arts and humanities; cultural and ethnic studies; film and society; ethical, philosophical, and psychological components of leadership; Emergent Leadership Theory; Integral Theory; and nonprofit-sector trends.

A nominee for the USD William P. Foster Outstanding Dissertation Award, Tom’s doctoral dissertation is titled, The Multiple Meanings of San Diego’s Little Italy: A Study of the Impact of Real and Symbolic Space and Boundaries on the Ethnic Identities of Eight Italian Americans. For his research, through the narrative constructions of participant life stories, Tom examined the perceptions of Italian Americans in San Diego with a connection to Little Italy. Other publications include two pictorial-history volumes: San Diego’s Fishing Industry (2009) and San Diego’s Little Italy (2006).

As an advocate in the local Italian community, Tom has helped to promote Italian arts, culture, and heritage for numerous local Italian cultural organizations. Noting an absence of a singular point of reference for San Diego’s myriad Italian groups, he founded Convivio in 2003 and the Italian Historical Society of San Diego in 2006 with the express goal of establishing a multifaceted Italian cultural center in San Diego. Tom’s vision for a collaborative cultural venue includes a reference library, media lab, historical center and archives, performance space, cafe and market, and event/exhibition space.